Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's Friday: Weekly Recap, Follow Me Friday {#8} and TGIF

Reviews From The Past Week
                                        Memes From The Past Week


TGIF at GReads! 
This Friday's Question:

How do you feel about the censorship of the freedom to read? Do you think the education system needs to be more strict on what children are exposed to in books?

Well, I'm completely against it. As a Mother I'd like my daughter to be able to go into her school library or any library and have as much available to her as possible. And banning is very selective. Sometimes it's a sex scene, sometimes it's a kiss between people of the same gender, etc. It depends on what they think is appropiate or innapropiate. I want to be able to draw the line for my daughter, not have somebody else draw it for me. That's what's up!!!! :O 

It's Follow Me Friday over at Parajunkee
The question this week is:

Q. What book that hasn't been turned into a movie (yet) would you most like to see make it to the big screen, and who would you like cast as your favorite character?

Shade and Shift by Jeri Ready-Smith hands down. I've always imagined Zachary from Shade as Paolo Nutini. Others that I would pick:

  • Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
  • Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
  • Prophecy of the Sister Series by Michelle Zink
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
As for actors, that's going to require a lot of thought. I don't often use actors or celebrities when I picture characters - I often make them up, so it's tough. I might edit this if I can think of any in particular. Sometimes I'll watch fan videos and I really would love Henry Cavill to play Dimitri in Vampire Academy. Puuuuurrrrrrrrrrr! 

Random Acts of Kindess: September 2011 Wrap Up

I had another fun month of participating in Random Acts of Kindness this month! Thanks to Shanella I received three e-books this month! Thank you so much, Shanella! 

This month I sent out three e-books books: two copies of Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress #1) by Jeaniene Frost and a copy of The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children #1) by Gertrude Chandler Warner  Can you imagine that they have The Boxcar Children for kindle? YES, THEY DO! I was floored when I saw that! I used to love those books! 

Review: Blood on the Moon by Jennifer Knight

Blood on the Moon by Jennifer Knight

Release Date: August 30th 2011
Publisher: Perseus Books
Page Count: Paperback, 416 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Buy This Book:  Amazon, Book Depository 
Source: Copy provided by Running Press Book Publishers

 Boys, romance, classes, and annoying roommates are all within the realm of the expected for a college frosh.  Trying to solve the mysterious murders of young college coeds near campus is not.  Darkness seems to be creeping into every corner of Faith's life, no matter the hour.  And when she seeks the truth, danger seems to be the only thing that finds her. Faith is well aware of the strange currents in the air, particularly when she sets off static sparks with everything she touches.  Before long, she finds herself entrenched in the deep-seeded battle between werewolves and vampires.  The war has reached the tipping point, and Faith has the power to determine where the scales fall.  But the most important question may be with whom does her loyalty lie?As Faith Reynolds enters her freshman year of college, she is a complete and utter nervous wreck.  With her best friend Derek suddenly pulling out the romance card and her dark, mysterious classmate staring her down at every turn, Faith somehow feels stuck in the middle without dating either one.  And fortune may or may not be with her when a devilshly sexy stranger offers her a welcome escape.Deliciously suspenseful and immediately addictive, Blood on the Moon features a headstrong heroine and all of the thrills, chills, and otherworldly boys with deadly charm that a human could ask for. - Good Reads
Faith has a terrible time trusting because she's been burned in the past by two people she never would have thought she wouldn't have been able to trust. One of those is her stepfather, who is now in prison and the other is her best friend Derek. Faith and Derek have had their fair share of relationship woes, particularly because Derek made a mistake that cost their relationship and Faith's trust in him romantically. So they're back to being just friends. All the while she is trying to settle into a new university far from home with her best friend slash ex boyfriend trying to re-kindle their fire, which has long been extinguished and worrying about being majorless and having a jerk who acts as if she's the bane of his existence for a project partner. And things steadily get worse and a little more lively as she's introduced to a world she never thought existed full of vampires and werewolves. 

Faith is a truly stubborn girl. She's the type who doesn't get to "fool me twice, shame on me". You cross her once and she's done. I liked that about her and see it as a definite possibility for growth and she does manage to plow through some of her trust issues throughout the book, but she still has a hard time truly forgiving and forgetting those who have done her wrong. I think what I liked most about her is that despite being a little jaded and unforgiving: it doesn't turn her into a total b word. She's still a caring person who is genuinely kindhearted. 

The general story was a little typical. Girls meets mysterious boy, he's a mythical creature and they fall in love after a little struggle. So it's nothing totally new and different, but I still devoured it. I didn't want to put it down and to me that's what counts. I was fascinated by Lucas and yearned to know more about him after I got over the initial 'what a jerk!' stage. He really isn't a jerk at all. And there's so much more to him than meets the eye. Werewolves are also a huge part of this story and while I've always thought of them as something I can't get into, I was proved wrong again  - I really liked it.

I'm smitten with this cover. I think it perfectly fits the main character Faith. Isn't it pretty? After I opened my package I think I admired it for a good minute before I opened it up to read! 

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this book to paranormal lovers and especially to those who love werewolves. Faith is a freshman in university, but I'd still consider this book appropriate for most young adults. There isn't any swearing, there is no sex and little mention of it and the kissing scenes are what I would consider tame.

The ending was a total cliffhanger, so I'm assuming that there is to be a second book, though Good Reads doesn't list it as a series. THERE BETTER BE ANOTHER BOOK! Because I'm dying to know what happens! And I can't wait to see more novels in the future from Jennifer Knight!

                                  4 out of 5 Hello Kitties

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Book Boyfriend {#3} Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables

 My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme hosted by Missie over atThe Unread Reader! Go check it out now! I want to hear all about your book boyfriend! 

Sorry this is a day late, but better late than never, as I and millions of others like to say! I thought I'd be old school today and go back to my roots. The first book boy that started my long string of book boyfriends. Gilbert Blythe. I'm definitely going to have to agree with Anne and her quote in Anne of Windy Poplars: “Gilbert, I'm afraid I'm scandalously in love with you.” 

I don't know how Anne managed to stay angry with him for so long after the "carrots incident", but gee whiz... She sure knows how to hold a grudge! 

Described in the books as having dark curly hair, hazel eyes and a long lean build, obviously Gilbert has to be cast as the dashing Jonathan Crombie! Who I think played him perfectly in the films! Ohhhh, Gil! You're so cute! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: If I Die (Soul Screamers #5) by Rachel Vincent

If I Die (Soul Screamers #5) by Rachel Vincent

Release Date: September 27th 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Page Count: Paperback, 342 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Buy This Book:  AmazonBook Depository 

The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies.But the next scream might be for Kaylee. Yeah—it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend's needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren't quite human, either.But Kaylee's borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life. Anything. - Good Reads

I'm not sure how to explain everything I loved about this book without giving away massive spoilers. But, I can say that If I Die was EPIC and definitely my favourite installment of the Soul Screamers series so far. A lot of BIG things happen in this book! 

Kaylee, as always, manages to find a baddie in their midst in the form of the new math teacher Mr Beck. He's a incubus who is ruining the lives of local girls and if you've read the series thus far, we all know Kaylee won't stand for that one bit. As she tries to save the day, she struggles with the new knowledge about the life extension she was given in place of her Mother. It's running out and she's desperate to tie everything up as best she can while her frantic Father and her friends try to figure out a way to put a stop to it. 

I swear... I was going off like the water works throughout this book. Over the series I've really grown to love Kaylee. She's such an admirable girl who gives so much to those around her and to see the predicaments she goes through throughout If I Die was heart wrenching at times to watch. But this book was not complete doom and gloom - there were a lot of bright spots. And my dream lover Tod was in a lot of those bright spots. He gets a lot of page time in this book, I'm happy to say! So if you like Tod as much as I do, you're going to love it. 

If you haven't picked up the Soul Screamer series, now is the time! I highly, highly, highly recommend it! 

And if you haven't read the series yet or don't have a copy, check out my 100 Follower Giveaway where you can win a pre-order of the books 0.5 - 2! Click here!

                                        5 out of 5 Hello Kitties!

Meme Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday and Tune In Tuesday

This is Tune in Tuesdays hosted by G Reads! Go spread the love of music by going over to her blog and participating!

This is a Russian song that I translated and put subtitles on. This song reminded me a lot of Rose and Dimitri from Vampire Academy and I loooooove it. 

Top 10 Tuesday is an original feature/regular meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish!

This Week: Top 10 Books I Want To Re-Read!

1. Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Josephine Angelini I just read this and I already want to re-read it. I'm in love. 
2. Just As Long As We're Together by Judy Blume I'm in luck with this, because I was looking around my local library today and they had this in their for sale section for 50 cents and it even has the cover I had growing up! So this will be re-read again very soon! 
3. Anna and the French Kiss Another one I recently read, but I loved it so much and I'd love to read it again. 
4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas I loved this book in my teens and I loved the film. I've been wanting to re-read it for some time now and see what I think of it as an adult. 
5. Shade and Shift by Jeri Smith Ready One of my favourite series and definitely one of those I can read again and again and again!
6. If I Die (Soul Screamers #5) by Rachel Vincent Well, I just finished this 20 minutes ago, but you know what? I NEED MOAAAAR TOD! 
7. By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho I love Paulo Coelho. And this is my favourite novel written by him. I randomly pick it up some days and flip to my favourite scenes. It's been a few months since I've actually sat down and read it through and I think I should!
8. In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz Yes, it's a childrens book, but it was the first ever book I ever checked out from the library and it's the perfect time to re-read it with Halloween coming up! The girl with the green ribbon around her neck... Oooooh! 
9. Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones #1) by Helen Fielding I love this book and I love the film and I totally need the pick me up this book gives me!

and last but not least...

10.The Discipline Book: How to Have a Better-Behaved Child From Birth to Age Ten by William Sears, Martha Sears Because my daughter was acting like a total fool in the shop yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! D:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Recreate a Cover Contest Entry!

Princess Bookie is having a contest: Recreate any 2011 OR 2012 Young Adult Cover! 

This is my entry, which is a re-create of the cover for 'Where She Went' by Gayle Forman! 

To left is my version of the cover and the bottom is the original version. Mia left to play the cello, so I felt this cover made a lot of sense. ;D 

Review: Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Josephine Angelini

Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Josephine Angelini

Published: May 31st 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Page Count: Hardback, 487
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mythology, Fantasy, Romance
Find the Author: WebsiteGood ReadsTwitterBlog

Buy This Book: Amazon
Book Depository

How do you defy destiny? Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart. - Good Reads
I've been on a contemporary reading spree for the past few days and this was definitely just the book to get me back into my typical element, which I'd say is paranormal or fantasy romance. I've also realized after looking at my Good Reads read list that I've been loving nearly everything I've read lately. This was no exception though. I LOVED IT! 

I can't say I've ever been a big mythology lover. I have a light interest, but the most my interest really goes is that I own Don't Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned by Kenneth C. Davis and I really loved watching Hercules and Xena growing up. In fact, I loved Xena so much that my best friend and I used to "sword fight" with pieces of plywood while doing the Xena battle cry. And once I really hurt her. And I think she brings up that story way more than she should. I'M SORRY, AMY, THAT WAS LIKE 14 YEARS AGO, GET OVER IT! I also know quite a bit about the Furies, who I found terrifying in this book. Mostly because my really strange and embarrassing Mother threatens to send them on anyone who pisses her off. Oh, Mama... 

Anyway, this book makes me want to run out to the library and immerse myself in mythological studies. And fly, get a demi-god for a boy toy, move to Nantucket and eat really good food.

Helen is a character I love. She's a good combination of extremely strong, vulnerable, funny and loving. She isn't afraid to put her heart out on the line and doesn't beat around the bush about her feelings. And I love how much she loves and cares for her Father. Sometimes I found her being petty, but she doesn't ignore it and keep on going, she tries to change for the better good.

I love when books I read throw drama at me that I didn't see coming at all. It packs way more of a punch! And there were quite a few punches in this! One in particular was completely heart wrenching and unexpected. And the romance! Oh boy... this book had one of the sexiest scenes I've ever read and I actually flipped back and re-read over it at least three times before moving on and they didn't even kiss on the lips, you guys

Overall: I completely recommend this book! It has starcrossed lovers who don't even need to kiss to be sexy, an intriguing and intricate plot with lots of surprises, a kick ass heroine, a beautiful setting and you should really just run out and buy this or check it out from the library ASAP!

                                    5 out of 5 Hello Kitties!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review: We'll Always Have Summer (Summer #3) by Jenny Han

We'll Always Have Summer (Summer #3) by Jenny Han

Published: April 26th 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Page Count: Hardback, 288
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Find the Author: WebsiteGood ReadsTwitterBlog

Buy This Book:  Amazon
Book Depository
It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever. - Good Reads
This last book in the Summer trilogy held me captive the entire time much like the previous books. In fact, I managed to read the entire trilogy in a day! 

This last book is, as it says in the summary, takes place two years in the future. Jeremiah and Belly are together now and going to the same university and neither have seen much of Conrad since he moved out to California. That all changes and they end up all being thrust together... And the story goes from there. 

I won't give away the ending because I don't want to spoil it. Now that I'm done with the review and re-reading before I post it, I realized I totally give the ending away. So if you don't want to be spoiled, please stop reading. 

A part of me loved the ending. A part of me didn't. One of the reasons why I loved this series so much is because I identified with Belly a lot.

Anyway, this series is really good. Read it contemporary lovers! Or perhaps read it even if you're not normally a contemporary lover. Read it if you've ever been in love with an emotionally distant rat bastard!

                                         4 out of 5 Hello Kitties

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review: It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2) by Jenny Han

It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2) by Jenny Han

Published: April 27th 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Page Count: Hardback, 288
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Find the Author: WebsiteGood ReadsTwitterBlog

Buy This Book:  Amazon
Book Depository
Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach. 

Of course I couldn't leave this series at the first book - I had to know what happened with Belly and the seemingly semi good ending (that wasn't exactly fully satisfying) of the first book The Summer I Turned Pretty. It's Not Summer Without You starts out the next summer and Belly backtracks throughout the book to let the reader catch on to happened over the past year and why things are the way they are now, but still manages to stay in the present, much like the writing style of the previous book - a lot of little chapter flashbacks. We also are introduced to Jeremiah's point of view, which was a plus, I think. I really liked reading his side of the story. Especially his sincere feelings towards Belly.

I could easily see people saying that Belly is an idiot for pining after Conrad for so many years and continuing to put up with his attitude, which is clearly unsatisfactory. There were many times where I wondered what Belly saw in him myself. He was very emotionally distant and could be so cold hearted. [The prom incident... what the hell was that about? Even after finishing the series I still haven't found a good excuse for that behaviour] But other times his actions screamed that he cared a lot about her. 

Overall, this was really good. I flew through it quickly and I put off everything to finish it. The ending was what I expected and it made sense to me. Definitely a series I recommend to those who love YA contemporary romance.

                                           5 out of 5 Stars

Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han

Published: May 5th 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Page Count: Hardback, 276
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Find the Author: WebsiteGood ReadsTwitterBlog

Buy This Book: Amazon, 
Book Depository

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along. - Good Reads
The Summer I Turned Pretty is another one of those books I stayed up way too late to finish in the past week. I first heard about this book from GReads and decided to check it out from the library - it's been lying around my house for quite a while and I had to renew it because I kept putting it off. But after reading a review from Fictitious Delicious last night and seeing Pretty in Fiction's Book Boyfriend pick this week I decided to pick it up and I ended up not being able to put it back down. 

This was a beautiful story full of nostalgia, growing up and long-time crushes finally coming to a head. Belly, her Mother and her older brother Steven spend every summer with Belly's best friend Susannah and her two sons Conrad and Jeremiah at their beach house. Belly has always been the underdog and forced to deal with the boys ganging up to pick on her or ignoring her and leaving her out of their boyish shenanigans. This summer though, it's a little different. It might be their last. Conrad, the brother she has been secretly in love with since she was 10 is going away to university in the autumn and she's afraid that next year he'll have no reason to come and Jeremiah will most likely be going to football camp next summer, so he might not come either. And this is the summer she finally feels pretty. 

The nostalgia factor is huge for me in this book. And it really made me miss the beach. I loved the atmosphere, the pacing, the characters and pretty much everything about this book. I found myself relating to Belly a lot. I remember the summer I turned pretty too. And I remember having crushes on more than one boy and settling for one that I thought I could have because I didn't think I was worthy or it'd work out with the boy I truly liked.

The only part that I found was confusing were the flashbacks. So, heads up! They are labelled by age at the beginning of the chapter, but I didn't notice right away, so you just have to keep your eyes peeled at the beginning of the chapter or you might end up a little confused.

This is definitely a must read for those who love a good coming of age story about a girl that has surprising depth.

                              5 out of 5 Hello Kitties!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's Friday: Weekly Recap, Follow Me Friday {#7} and TGIF

Reviews From The Past Week

                                        Memes From The Past Week

TGIF at GReads! 

This Friday's Question:

Reading Challenges: Did you sign up for any this year? How has your progression been?
No, I haven't this year. I plan on trying to read a certain amount of books in 2012 though. I am one of those girls who doesn't like pressure. If I feel pressure I'll usually run in the opposite direction. I know... it's horrible, but that's how I roll. I was proud that I managed to read 30 books in August. 30! Really! Being jobless has its benefits... let me tell ya! 

It's Follow Me Friday over at Parajunkee! The question this 
week is:

Q. Do you have a favorite series that you read over and over again? Tell us a bit about it and why you keep revisiting it?

Indeed, I have a few that I like to read again and again. One of those is The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot. I haven't read the series in a while now, because I came to the US and wasn't able to bring my books with me from Dubai (stupid weight limitations! love my kindle for that reason), but they are still sitting in our family house waiting for me and I've been wanting to re-read them again baaaadly! The Shade Series by Jeri Ready-Smith is another one of those. I think that is a series I'll read over and over again. In fact I've been wanting to start it over again recently. I love re-reading and finding little things I might have missed out on or re-living good scenes and getting that emotion going! The Harry Potter Series is another series I've read more than once and will continue to re-read in the future!